1.27.2012

We are not an ‘eco-company’...

The use of sustainability-related buzz-words in corporate marketing can get pretty tiresome/silly, so when I ran across this Environment Policy statement by Whitelines, I found it refreshing.  Corporations, please take note.
Environment policy 
“Are you an ‘eco-company’?” 
We are not an ‘eco-company’ and have never looked at ourselves as ‘eco’. 
We just do what we think all companies­ should do: take all possible responsibility 
for the environment. Just that simple. 
We talk about the life of the planet here and it’s of course a no-brainer, we must all strive to eliminate the harm we cause! This statement shouldn’t be considered specifically ‘eco’ but just common sense. 
As some of you already know we were among the first, if not the very first paper company in the world to mark all our products with a Carbon Footprint label and later on also with Zero Carbon Footprint. 
We can’t do that now. 
Right now we are in a sourcing situation where we don’t have all data for the Life Cycle Analysis which is the foundation­ for a Carbon Footprint label. And as we don’t want to claim taking responsibility for something­ we can’t guarantee we will instead focus on other actions.­ 
Whitelines will continue for the time being to use a Swedish totally Carbon Free Paper in most of our products.­ (This means a paper where no Carbon Dioxide­ from fossil fuels is being emitted during production, a very good thing actually). 
No one would be happier than we if other companies would be comparable with us in terms of taking this responsibility. Imagine if we all make the resposibility for the environment an essential.
I found the Swedish site when I was looking at a statement on the back of one of their notebooks (which I recommend, btw) and was curious how they did their carbon accounting.

From a corporate social responsibility standpoint, this reads like it represents an interesting shift in focus.  Instead of giving companies extra brownie-points for having implemented some small program that reduces their environmental footprint by a tiny amount, perhaps we should simply expect that companies optimize their environmental performance and then penalize them heavily if they're not up to some minimal baseline-level of performance.  The current baseline expectation of 'no responsibility' means we reward pretty trivial production changes that probably don't have meaningful impacts.

I also thoroughly appreciate their acknowledgement of uncertainty in their carbon accounting.  If only we could all be that honest...

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